Cayambe Glacier School. Mountain Madness photo
Cotopaxi Summit. Mark Ryman photo
Cotopaxi Hut pizza dinner. Mountain Madness photo
Otavalo Market. Javier Mora photo
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Ecuador Mountaineering School



All-inclusive Mountain Madness-style: learn more

Climbs of Cayambe 18,997 feet/5790 meters;  Cotopaxi 19,348 feet/5897 meters and Chimborazo 20,703 feet/6310 meters

Options: 15 & 18 day itineraries available (all include five days of instruction and additional acclimatization before the ascents)

Extension: Galapagos Islands

This climbing school offers participants the chance to gain new mountaineering skills and apply them to guided high-altitude ascents of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Ecuador's highest peak, 20,703-foot Chimborazo. Extra time during the school allows particpants more time to acclimatize and be fully prepared for the ascents.

The mountains of Ecuador’s famous “Avenue of the Volcanoes” offer some of the finest mountaineering objectives in the Andes of South America and are set amid a fascinating cultural backdrop.

"Best food and accommodations EVER! Rumiloma sets such a high bar that no future trip has a chance. Even our mountain food was the best I've ever had. I typically lose weight on these trips, but didn't at all on this one." Scott F.

This trip combines abundant learning opportunities with practical application of skills on Cayambe,  Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, and 20,700 ft. Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak. This popular course is designed for individuals aspiring to learn the fundamental skills of snow, ice, and glacier climbing. Our goal is to develop self-reliant alpine climbers. With the comprehensive curriculum and some hands on expedition climbing this trip is one of our most rewarding South American adventures.

Five-day Course Curriculum Includes:

  • Snow climbing, ice axe positioning, and moving in balance
  • Self arrest techniques
  • Snow and ice anchor selection, construction, and equalization
  • Ice climbing and crampon techniques
  • Prussiking and team crevasse rescue practice
  • Rappelling and rope management
  • Glaciology and crevasse pattern prediction
  • Navigation using maps, altimeters, and compasses
  • Roped glacier travel and route finding through crevassed areas
  • Mountain weather, alpine ecology, hazard assessment, and Leave No Trace Ethics
  • High altitude physiology and other related expeditionary topics


Trip Highlights:
  • Ideal introduction to high altitude mountaineering
  • Charming, historic hacienda stays (more...)
  • Excellent cuisine/ all restaurant meals included in price (more...)
  • One day ascents from huts
  • Fascinating culture and friendly people
  • Knowledgeable local and American guides (more...)